Social Inequality: Theories And Scholars That Justify Inequality
Inequality is unavoidable
Inequality is unavoidable and people should find ways to work around it rather than persist to fight. It is a waste of time and resources. The term inequality means an unfair situation where some people have more privileges, money, and opportunities than others in society. Inequality is a global problem which can only be solved in many ways but never completely. The law has been unable to curb the situation, and therefore, it has been a global problem. Inequality takes many forms; social, gender, income and economic inequality. In all of them, it all adds up to people and resources being unequal.
Social inequality is one of the greatest factors that have contributed to inequality between individuals. The term refers to the availability of unequal opportunities and existence if the rewards to different ranked positions in a society or a group. Factors contributing to social inequality includes; education, mental health, income, immigration, age, ethnicity and race, sexual orientation and gender. The world we live in, everyone holds the freedom to do as they please. However, most people live in fear of living their true self because of the judgment from the society.
i) Gender inequality
Gender inequality is the unequal treatment of people in respect to their gender. Inequality based on gender has majorly hindered human development in the world. Women have consistently put in effort to fight for gender equality since 1990 and still have not yet fully achieved it. There are various places around the world where women are still forbidden in taking part to so many things which are meant fully to be the activities of men. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, women are forbidden to drive while in places like sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, girls are forces into marriage before even turning 18 years.
It is clear that in all countries, in terms of women in getting promotions, women always end up at the bottom of the ladder no matter their potentials and men always maintain at the top spot in the ladder. Men have seen to lead eve in female-dominated profession. Women only have a chance in leading when men leave the position. The challenges faced by women in advancing in the corporation world has been critically been analyzed by the classics in the economics literature.
ii) Sex inequality
Sexual inequality is also a significant source to social inequality. Most society observes homosexuals as a taboo especially due to their religion beliefs. Same marriages have been declared to be a crime in 13 states. However, in United States of America, the marriage of the same sex has been made legal.
iii) Racial inequality
Additionally, racial inequality is a source of social inequality which is well alive especially in America. According to Shapiro (2004), being of color, is the most difficult burden to live with in America. In career and educational fields, there are high possibilities of not leading for being a non-white citizen.
iv) Immigration inequality
Regarding inequality caused by immigration, there has been a big challenge in choosing an immigrant to run a political office in a foreign country most especially people tend to remain loyal to the land in which they originated. Therefore, being that the president decisions are supposed to be made solely based on the interests of that country, it is hard for such a candidate to serve the country with loyalty when there is a conflict of interest. Most people usually, hold a natural loyalty for their original country therefore; they are likely to make decisions in favor of their original nationalists and not for the interests of the current nationals. As a result, social inequality for being an immigrant is unavoidable.
A study in Arizona, done 2006-2007 performed on the highway patrol. It observed that Africans Americans and Hispanics were the most stopped to be searched than the whites on all the roads. This activity is consistent even in today. Another study was done in West Virginia which resulted in a similar pattern where most African-American motorists are likely to be stopped. In the end, the non- whites were more likely to be arrested just because of their race.
This activity is still alive in the modern living. It has even got worse since most of this traffic stops include misappropriate handling of the African Americans and Hispanics. Most of this search violates the rights of this people. For example in New York, in 2008, there was a reported case of two young youths aged 15 and 13 driven by a football coach all being African Americans. They were stopped in the rain, pulled out in the rain and the police held them at gunpoint while searching the car. After the search, they found no contraband only the football equipment.
In 2007, public tried to answer a question on what social evil meant. Ferdinand Mount explained the problems that are created by an unequal society. He also discussed five types of inequalities and how to remedy all of them. The remedy includes; responsibility and treatment, inequality of opportunity, differing life income, shared equality of membership and political inequality. In this paper, I will focus more on inequality as a global problem.
In an international post of 2005, it stated that inequality is still a sensitive issue in the world and needs to be addressed for it is economically inefficient, socially divisive, environmentally destructive and politically corrosive. Economically, the rich remains to be rich as the poor continue to be poor. On the other hander, gender-wise, the female rights are still limited as compared to male rights. As a result, poverty comes in handy. The society is bound to be great and strong if equality increased. Also, the societies are less likely to suffer from social, political and economic problems
Theories that justify inequality
Economists have come up with various theories to prove that inequality is inevitable. According to statistical discrimination theory, majority of employers measure the productivity of their potential workers in work interviews based on perception the worker belongs. ………for instance, a young woman may be discriminated from getting hired because there are high opportunity that she will soon be away from work to have children.
According to human capital theory, people are paid according to their level of education. A lot of women have suffered from this, since most women receive a lower wage than men especially in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa where men’s education is prioritized before empowering a girl child. Women in these regions are believed to only hold a role in the kitchen and conceive children for their husband as the man is out to work and provide for the family.
Scholars that justify inequality
According to Karl Marx in his work, ‘The Communist Manifesto’ he explains how a capitalist society creates two classes of people. Karl Marx arguments were based on the idea that a modern society contains two classes of people; the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The proletariats are the workers while the bourgeoisie is the owners of production means; the businesses, equipment, and the factories that are used to produce wealth. The work by Karl Marx focused more on the materialistic perception of people and the commitment to the political activities an end goal. The free market is a system of economics which works to maximize the role of markets by reducing the government interactions. Marx argues that the free market promotes economic inequality where wealth concentrates on the hands of the few rich people.
Marx claims that inequality is inevitable since due to the arising competing, that is brought by a free market; there is a failure in matching demand and production. Also, the improvement and growth of industries turned the labor force to social force. Moreover, there exist competing interests between the bourgeois and the proletarians. The workers always aspire to receive high wages. It is only achievable in an ideal world where self-interest and greed are in existence. However, there is a struggle since on the other hand, the bourgeois is out to maximize profits and lead among the competitors who are in similar trade or business. On the way of maximizing profits by keeping the labor cost or wages as low as possible.
Marx continued to support his argument by explaining that the capitalism would only thrive at the expense of exploiting the working class. He also believes that there is a contradiction between the nature of humans and their ways of working in the capitalist society. Marxists also argued that to control the Proletariat; there is the need to use alienation in all aspects of society, family, media, and education system for he believed that this theory shaped the system of education largely. He also argued that the economy is a failure without the education system. Without education, there would be no jobs thus unemployment. He believed that education controlled the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie so that there are workers to produce goods and services and people who benefit from them.
According to Marx, the bourgeoisie in the society would only make surplus profits by exploiting the proletariats. The owners of the business only pay the workers what is enough for them to afford a place to live and eat only. As a result, the workers become slaves to the bourgeoisie to afford basic needs. In return, the workers get a false consciousness that they are well off and that they can count on their bosses in creating their wealth.
Efforts put forward to curb Global Inequality
Inequality being a global issue falls in the responsibility of those in governance to regulate, stop or reduce it. Some might even regard it as a political problem, and so, it can only be solved politically. Global inequality can be controlled easily through a legislative framework. Oxfam proposed that, the way to reduce inequality is by putting it as a priority in the post-2015 framework. Consequently, inequality has been one of the major current frameworks in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The government has been researching on the challenges posed by the growing inequality and look for ways to address it. The framework is a commitment by the government to combat difference in the state and the world at large. The government uses this strategy as a way to end poverty. In the framework, it is important for the government to include the possible ways to reduce both income and wealth inequality within all the countries and in the world. Additionally, there should be an achievable goal of achieving gender equality.
Moreover, the framework has been set to ensure it addresses the social inequalities especially by handling the issues affecting many women and marginalized groups. By reaching out to such groups, it is hoped that the disabled, the elderly, cultural minorities, ethnic minorities, gays and lesbianism, religious minorities the Internally Displaced Peoples and people affected with HIV/AIDs will be respected and cease discrimination towards them.
Impact of efforts put forward to curb Global Inequality
There has been an increased income inequality which has been greatly caused by the decrease in the growth of the economy. Many studies have supported this argument with statistics collected from different countries across the globe showing how income inequality has not reduced. High-income inequality has reduced the professional opportunities for the most disadvantaged people in the society as such the social mobility decreases a situation that diminishes the economy to grow. In this perspective, increased level of inequality has led to a decline in human capital investment by the individuals with a low income. It is because of this that countries with higher levels of income inequality have been established to have low rates of social mobility.
Moreover, income inequality has negatively affected the productivity in the economy and the economic growth. The productivity of a country depends on the level of human capital and thus the level of motivation of the human resource as a whole. In a situation where people feel that they are discriminated regarding income, it becomes difficult for them to give their best at work. It is a situation where some people are paid well and others poorly for the same nature of work, and therefore their performance at work also reduce. In any economy, human capital is one of the main factors that influence the growth of the economy in the subject, and as such if people are not motivated to work, the overall output reduces which means production also reduces. The long-term effect of low production is the negative economic growth.
According to, increased inequality has led to financial instability leading financial crises. In fact, according to the economist’s scholars, the income inequality could have been the reason behind of the Great Depression which almost brought down the country and even the recent Recession. Financial stability is directly related to the performance of the economy, a country with a stable income will always experience positive economic growth.
A study conducted by the IMF on income inequality established that increased inequality drains the growth of the economy. A similar study on the relationship between income inequality and economic growth done between 1980 and 2012 in 150 countries gave similar results. Therefore, concluding that a global inequality is a disaster not just for a country but to the whole world.
Benefits to Global Inequality
According to inequality is good for in fostering economic growth for it encourages creativity and innovation in the economy. Where people realize that there exist a huge gap between the highest earners and the lowest earners in most cases they resort to innovation and creativity to compensate. In this case, many households would opt for private or self-employment. Besides, having identified, the problem facing the economy, they would try to come up with new ideas so that to solve the problem available. Creativity and innovation will no doubt impact the economy positively hence economic growth.
increased inequality, economists have established that the level of unemployment tends to decrease significantly. In this, it implies that through innovation and creativity, the households would be able to create different forms of unemployment for the people in the country. The rate of unemployment is a good indicator of the rate of economic growth, reduction of unemployment impacts positively to the growth of the economy since when people are unemployed; they become idle and can easily engage in other evil activities, while also unemployed people are unproductive in the economy. Employment enables people to earn a living, reduce poverty in the society and contribute to the per capita income or GDP in the economy. For this reason, increased income inequality causes economic growth.
A world of around seven billion people is still unable to combat inequality. Three-quarter of the world’s wealth is in the hands of one-quarter of world’s population while the other quarter of the world’s wealth is in the hands of the other three-quarter of the world’s population and this is the world we live. Its existence would seem natural but it doesn’t mean it is right. I believe it is hard to root it out but I find it essential for it to be controlled and reduced to its minimum level as possible.
Inequality can mold our lives and become an inspiration to people working hard to get to a certain class or level. Furthermore, as long as people are not the same, people will always differ and there will always be winners and loser to everything. Therefore, inequality has harmed a lot of individuals but at the same time, it has rooted out a lot of people from their comfort zone. It has led to more harm than good though therefore, there is need to keep fighting for equality since it will never end, it will then reduce.
True economic equality should result to everyone achieving equal economic power by giving same economic contribution in a free market. It should focus on creating a just society. It means that workers are paid equal measure the talents and skills they provide for the capitalist. It also entails that the weak including the needy, the elderly, cultural minorities, ethnic minorities, gays and lesbianism, religious minorities the Internally Displaced Peoples and people affected with HIV/AIDs will be respected and cease discrimination towards them.
The best effective way to achieve a global equality is by putting it as a state goal and makes follow-ups in attaining it. However, it is easy to achieve universal equality at the local level then it will spread all through to the national level and finally globally. Inequality is a political issue and so it requires a political strategy to combat it. However, every person should take the initiative of making that change since change starts with an individual.